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Home > Projects > Wind Turbines: Wind Turbines - Non-Destructive Testing, Structural Analysis, and Materials Research
Energy Research Unit

Projects: Wind Turbines - Wind Turbines - Non-Destructive Testing, Structural Analysis, and Materials Research

Project List Wind Integration Storage Offshore Hydrogen Sustainability

Project Title: MAXFARM
Project Description:

Supergen Wind Energy Technologies logo

Launched in 2015, the MAXFARM (MAXimizing wind Farm Aerodynamic Resource via advanced Modelling) project includes the Universities of Surrey, Strathclyde, Loughborough, Imperial College London, alongside STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, DNV GL Energy, Zenotech Ltd, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd, B M T Fluid Mechanics Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, ZephIR Lidar, Satellite Applications Catapult and SgurrEnergy Ltd.
The project is funded for three years to 2018.

This is a multidisciplinary project that brings together researchers from differen academic backgrounds in order to address reliability, lifetime and efficiency in offshore wind farms, and to meet the needs of the UK electricity generation industry. The overarching aim is the reduction of the (levelised) cost of generation of the large offshore wind farms that the UK will need in order to meet national and international objectives in the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The multidisciplinary aspect reflects the different but, in context, linked disciplines and brings together the growing discipline of energy meteorology, of aerodynamics and aeroelasticity, of fatigue and structural mechanics, and of systems control. That is, the approach is a holistic one, linking the environmental conditions with their impact on each rotor and the mechanisms to improve farm performance as a whole. The meteorological contribution is essential because of the range of wind flow conditions that exist, subjecting the turbines and - importantly for large wind farms - the wakes of the turbines to a range of unsteady conditions that are known to reduce wind farm efficiency, and to cause increased structural damage (when compared to small-scale onshore wind farms). Both these contribute to increased capital and operating costs.

To improve the cost effectiveness of offshore wind energy requires a better understanding of the flow-field through the wind farm. The project will address this issue and develop models to better represent the flow-field including the wakes and turbulence. Furthermore, capitalising on this, the implication for loads on the individual wind turbines will be investigated and the design of control strategies will be explored that achieve optimal operation of a large wind farm with each turbine controlled to keep operations and maintenance costs to acceptably low levels whilst (subject to this constraint) maximising farm output.

Specifically, ERU will :

  1. establish the feasibility of using satellite based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to characterise the velocity deficit in the wakes of individual wind turbines and whole wind farms, and
  2. improve the application of damage equivalent loads analysis with more detailed information about material stress concentrations and fatigue evaluation at the sub-structure level.

An array of wind turbines
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration:

2 November 2015 to 1 November 2018

Partners: University of Surrey; University of Strathclyde; ERU, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; Loughborough University; Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine; DNV GL Energy; Zenotech Ltd; Renewable Energy Systems Ltd B M T Fluid Mechanics Ltd Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult; ZephIR Lidar; Satellite Applications Catapult; SgurrEnergy Ltd
Funding Body:

EPSRC via grant EP/N006224/1


Project Title: SUPERGEN Wind Hub
Project Description:

Supergen Wind Energy Technologies logo

Launched in 2014, the SUPERGEN Wind Hub currently includes the Universities of Strathclyde, Durham, Loughborough, Cranfield and Manchester, alongside STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, DNV GL and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. The Hub is funded for five years to 2019.

The aim of the Hub is to continue to develop the important academic, industrial and policy linkages that were established during the earlier phases of the SUPERGEN Wind programme (2006-2014) (see below   Supergen Wind phase 1 and SUPERGEN Wind Phase 2 - towards the Offshore Wind Power Station  and to lead the technology strategy for driving forward UK wind energy research and for exploiting the research outcomes.

In addition to its defined research programme, the Hub manages a flexible funding programme which will run over the five years of the Hub. Details of the 2015 funding round.

Specifically, ERU will : 1) setup and populate a new database with controlled log-in facilities to host confidential wind farm SCADA data, for use by other partners to validate their condition monitoring algorithms, and 2) investigate innovative design of very large blades from 80m to 100m in length. Novel composite options for blade construction will be identified,  and their geometry and fibre architecture optimised at large blade size and the use of the new materials.

See the Project Website at http://www.supergen-wind.org.uk/

An array of wind turbines
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration:

19 June 2014 to 18 June 2019

Partners: University of Strathclyde; University of Durham; University of Manchester; ERU, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; Loughborough University; Cranfield University; DNV GL Energy; Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Funding Body:

EPSRC via grant EP/L014106/1


Project Title: SUPERGEN Wind Phase 2 - towards the Offshore Wind Power Station
Project Description:

Supergen Wind Energy Technologies logo

The SUPERGEN Wind Energy Technologies consortium is a collaboration between 10 academic institutions with the support of 15+ industrial partners carrying out co-ordinated research to achieve an integrated, cost effective, reliable, and available Offshore Wind Power Station. During the first two years, the project is arranged into three parallel themes:

  • The Farm – offshore wind resource, wakes and aerodynamics, radar interaction, and performance optimization;
  • The Turbine – drive train dynamics; turbine interaction with upstream wakes; innovative blade and tower materials; fault detection and condition monitoring; sub-sea foundations;
  • The Connection – optimized performance, control, connection configuration, requirement for on-board or remote energy storage.

In the final two years, these themes will be developed further within a “gathering” theme:

  • The Wind Farm as a Power Station – looking at how the power station should be designed, operated and maintained for optimum reliability and what the overall economics will be.

Specifically, ERU will be involved in the further development of its parametric blade structural model (developed in Supergen Wind phase 1 – see below) to incorporate the effects of operating in an upstream turbine’s wake on blade loading and overall turbine control, and the potential use of advanced aerodynamic control features to limit loads and optimise performance.

See the Project Website at http://www.supergen-wind.org.uk/

An array of wind turbines
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration:

23 March 2010 to 22 March 2014

Partners: University of Strathclyde; University of Durham; University of Manchester; ERU, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; University of Surrey; Manchester Metropolitan University; Loughborough University; Areva T&D UK Ltd. Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science(Cefas); Clipper Windpower.; E.ON UK Renewables Ltd.; EA Technology Group; Garrad Hassan & Partners Ltd.; Mott MacDonald.; New & Renewable Energy Centre Ltd (NAREC).; Nordic Windpower; QinetiQ; Rolls-Royce; Romax Technology Ltd; ScottishPower Generation Ltd.; Siemans.;TNEI; Vestas Blades Ltd; Wind Prospect Group
Funding Body:

EPSRC via grant EP/H018662/1


Project Title: UPWIND - Integrated Wind Turbine Design
Project Description:

UpWind is a European project funded under the EU's Sixth Framework Progamme (FP6). The project looks towards the wind power of tomorrow, more precisely towards the design of very large wind turbines (8-10MW), both onshore and offshore. The aim of the project is to develop the accurate, verified tools and component concepts the industry needs to design and manufacture this new type of turbine. UpWind focuses on design tools for the complete range of turbine components. It addresses the aerodynamic, aero-elastic, structural and material design of rotors. Critical analysis of drive train components will be carried out in the search for breakthrough solutions.
See Project website at http://www.upwind.eu

UpWind Logo
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration: March 2006 - February 2011
Partners:

The UpWind consortium, composed of 40 partners, brings together the most advanced European specialists of the wind industry:
Belgium: SAMTECH S.A; Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Czech Republic: Institute of Thermomechanics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Denmark: Risø National Laboratory (Project Coordinator); Technical University of Denmark; Aalborg University; Elsam Engineering A/S; LM Glasfiber A.S.; Ramboll Danmark A.S.; Det Norske Veritas, Danmark A/S; Vestas Asia Pacific A/S
Finland: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Germany: Institut für Solare Energieversorgungstechnik Verein an der Universität Kassel; Universität Stuttgart; GE Wind Energy GmbH; Werkzeugmaschinenlabor, Aachen University; Germanischer Lloyd WindEnergie GmbH; Repower Systems AG; Lohmann und Stolterfoht GmbH (part of Rexroth Bosch);
Greece: Centre for Renewable Energy Sources; National Technical University of Athens; University of Patras
Netherlands: Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands; Stichting Kenniscentrum Windturbine Materialen en Constructies; Delft University of Technology; Shell Windenergy BV
Poland: Instytut Podstawowych Problemow Techniki PAN;
Spain: Fiberblade Eólica S.A.; Fundación RobotikerEcotècnia S.C.C.L; Fundación CENER - CIEMAT
Sweden: Lulea University of Technology
UK: Garrad Hassan and Partners Ltd; University of Edinburgh; ERU, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; QinetiQ Ltd.; Smart Fibres Ltd.; University of Salford
European Wind Energy Association

Funding Body: European Commission [SES6/019945]

Project Title: SUPERGEN - Wind Energy Technologies Phase 1
Project Description:

Supergen Wind Energy Technologies logo

During Phase 1 of Supergen Wind, the objective was to undertake research to improve the cost-effective reliability and availability of existing and future large-scale wind turbine systems in the UK.
The research was divided into 4 themes:

  • Baselining Wind Turbine Performance
  • Drive-train Loads & Monitoring
  • Structural Loads & Materials
  • Environmental Issues

ERU led the structures and materials theme, developing state of the art finite element (FE) models of current and future large wind turbine blades, taking into account realistic loading conditions. The integration of these models with the dynamics of the rest of the machine will result in valuable insight into the design and necessary compromises for future large wind tubines.

Continued in Phase 2

See the Project Website at http://www.supergen-wind.org.uk/Phase1/index.html

60m long commercial wind turbine blade (courtesy of LM Glasfiber)
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration:

23 March 2006 to 22 March 2010

Partners: University of Strathclyde; University of Durham; University of Manchester; ERU, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; University of Surrey; Queen Mary College, University of London; Manchester Metropolitan University; Loughborough University; AMEC Wind Energy; Areva T&D UK Ltd.; Chell Instruments; Econnect Ltd.; E.ON UK Renewables Ltd.; ESR Network; Garrad Hassan & Partners Ltd.; HR Wallingford Ltd.; New & Renewable Energy Centre Ltd.; ScottishPower Generation Ltd.; Smart Fibres Ltd.; Vestas Blades Ltd
Funding Body:

EPSRC via grant EP/D034566/1


Project Title: OPTIMAT BLADES: Reliable Optimal Use of Materials for Wind Turbine Rotor Blades
Project Description: The project developed accurate design recommendations for the optimised use of materials within wind turbine rotor blades and to achieve improved reliability. To achieve this overall objective, the project investigated the structural behaviour of the composite material under the unique combination of conditions experienced by rotor blades such as variable amplitude loading, complex 3-D stress states, extreme environmental conditions, thick laminates and their possible interactions. For life extension, condition assessment and repair techniques was developed. The project resulted in improved design recommendations for the next generation of rotor blades.
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration: Jan 2002 - Apr 2006
Partners: Netherlands Energy Research Foundation, Delft University of Technology, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt, Deutsches Windenergie-Institut GmbH, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Risoe National Laboratory, CRES, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Patras, Technical Research Centre of Finland, Germanischer Lloyd Windenergie GmbH, Det Norske Veritas, Danmark A/S, LM Glasfiber A/S, Polymarin B.V., Nordex Energy GmbH, Gamesa Eolica S.A., Enron Wind GmbH, Vestas Wind Systems A/S
Funding Body: European Commission

Project Title: Acoustic emission proof testing and damage assessment of wind turbine blades (AEGIS)
Project Description: The AEGIS project combined the expertise of blade manufacturers, testing institutions, and acoustic emission consultants to develop a system for listening to and analysing the sounds of material failure at a microstructural level in order to give advanced warning of critical damage. It is possible to derive information relating to the location, type of damage, and even criticality during the testing of a composite structure such as a large wind turbine blade.
See AEGIS Website
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration:

Sep 1998 - Oct 2002

Partners: STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, CRES,  Delft University of Technology, Envirocoustics ABEE, Geobiologiki, Aerpac B.V., University of Patras, Cranfield University, Euro Physical Acoustics
Funding Body: European Commission

Project Title:

Characterisation of Damage in Wind Turbine Blade Tests using Thermoelastic Stress Analysis and Infra Red Thermography Images
and
Damage Detection and Characterisation in Fibre-Reinforced Plastics using Infra Red Emissions

Project Description: Acoustic emission monitoring and other non-destructive testing techniques can also provide engineers with useful information about damage processes. The ERU is at the forefront of developing techniques in thermoelastic stress analysis to better characterise damage during laboratory testing of large glass fibre reinforced plastic structures.
ERU Contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration: Jan 2000 - Dec 2000 and Apr 2000 - Jun 2001
Partners: STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, University of Southampton and collaborators (Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology, DERA Farnborough, Delft University of Technology and Stress Photonics Inc.)
Funding Body: EPSRC [GR/M99057/01 and GR/N04997/01]

Project Title: Design, Structural Testing, and Cost Effectiveness of Sectional Wind Turbine Blades (SecBlades)
Project description: With individual wind turbine blades now approaching 60 metres in length, transportation of blades from the manufacturer to a wind farm is becoming increasingly problematic, especially in areas of complex terrain or along routes with low bridges. The ERU led work on sectional blades, which can be transported in two or more smaller modules.
ERU contact: Dr Jim Halliday
Duration: Aug 1997 - Nov 2000
Partners: STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, LM Glasfiber A/S, German Aerospace Research Establishment, Delft University of Technology
Funding body: European Commission [JOR3-CT97-0167]

Project List Wind Integration Storage Offshore Hydrogen Sustainability

 
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